Local dive team find crashed plane: return items to passengers

Recovery divers Jennifer Idol and Aaron Grigsby had plenty of luck finding a needle in the form of the biplane that crash landed into Lake Travis on Saturday afternoon.

"When you're out in the middle of a big lake, you're looking for a needle in a haystack. It can feel, all of a sudden, like you're a tiny spot in a really big place. You almost feel like you have to have a bunch of luck to be able to find an object like this," Idol said.

The team also recovered flash drives, the pilots flight log, and several go-pro cameras.
"When we first got down there some of the things we started to find were: a little bit of debris, a floatation device, pamphlets. Then we started seeing paint flakes were part of the plane had separated and caused a bunch of big red paint flakes to come off on the bottom," Grigsby said. "It was scattered across the bottom (of the lake). One of (the cameras) looks like it use to be mounted to the wing so hopefully there will be some intact video to help future investigators figure out what happened."

But perhaps the most shocking discovery was the condition of the plane.

"Usually when you have a plane crash, you see little bits of stuff. The metal is twisted and it's barely recognizable. The pilot clearly did a good job of landing this plane as safely as possible because it was all in one piece for the most part except where the wheels touched at the bottom and you can see the point of impact," Idol said.

Idol and Grigsby returned what they could to the passengers that were on the plane, who were not only thrilled to have some of their stuff back but to also still be alive.

"I know (the three on the plane) were shaken from the wreck and scared for their lives. I certainly appreciated being here. One of the passengers is a new father and he was out here with his father. It was like a birthday gift. So they are just glad to be back with their family, at home, and we are grateful that everyone is safe," Idol said.

The three male passengers on-board suffered very minor injuries and are in good shape.

Lake Travis Scuba told FOX 7 the buoys that marked the plane's location have been removed from the water for unknown reasons.

As for the plane, Travis County Parks tells FOX 7 that it will most likely remain in the water until Tuesday. One reason is due to the large number of people that will be out at the lake this 4th of July weekend.

Read Plane crashes into water at Lake Travis

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